Houston is ranked number two in the U.S. on Forbes list of Best Cities for Female Founders. New York City topped the list, but the Lone Star State has the most cities on the list with Dallas at #3 and San Antonio at #15.
In 2012 there were more than 167,000 businesses owned by women in the Bayou City. Expect that number to continue to grow as women-owned business in Houston have increased more than 42% in the last 15 years.
But what makes Houston such a great city for women entrepreneurs?
“Houston wants to support local businesses,’ says Jennifer Welker. ‘I think that Houston has a lot of Southern charm and they really do just shop small and shop local, which was a huge blessing with my business.”
Welker always considered herself a jewelry designer trapped in the body of a Neonatal nurse until she took the plunge and left the medical profession.
“You know starting a business is sort of a double edged sword. You just have this passion, desire, energy, this force but you hit some roadblocks along the way. It’s all about perseverance and reaching out to other that can mentor you and guide you along the way.”
It’s worked for Welker, she now designs jewelry full time for her company Golden Thread and even has 4 employees.
Lifestyle Coach Williams adds, “Women have to go into this space where it’s a gut feeling. Where they understand who they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do. That’s what being a woman entrepreneur is.”
Both women will tell you, it’s not easy but it’s rewarding.
“It has been the most challenging, most exciting time of my life” says Welker.
Williams affirms, “It gives you the freedom to begin to write your own way. It grows you exponentially.”
These women are just two shining examples of why female entrepreneurs have a bright future in H-Town.